SFIFF2013: “Nights with Theodore”, “Il Futuro” and “Helsinki, Forever” – Capsule Reviews and Trailers

Nights with Theodore

Nights_With_Theodore_02three-stars15Part documentary and part narrative, Nights with Theodore is an exploration of Buttes-Chaumont Park in Paris, France. To be more specific, the film delves into the mystical history of the park and then quite effectively builds a fantasy narrative around it. We follow a couple, who, after spending the night in the park, are drawn back to it every night by an almost supernatural force, and while they enjoy their time in the park it is not without consequences.

Personally, Nights with Theodore filled me with nostalgia. It reminded me of those dreamlike nights where you connect with someone new and time seems to distort. You wander the streets talking and exploring without any real goal or destination, just wanting the moment to last as long as it can. It’s not everyday that a film strikes such a connection with me, and while it might not be one of my top films come the end of the year it will be a film that I’m forever glad I saw.

Showtimes for Nights with Theodore: Sun, Apr 28th – 6:45pm (Kabuki)

Mon, Apr 29th – 3:30pm (Kabuki)

Sun, May 5th – 9:30pm (Kabuki)

Il Futuro

Il_Futuro_01three-stars15Rutger Hauer is truly all over the place. After appearing in Hobo With A Shotgun (2011) and Dario Argento’s Dracula 3D (2012) I figured it was pretty much going to be trash from here on out. I was wrong.

As far as plot goes, there is nothing unique about Il Futuro. The story of a young attractive woman conning an old man has been done a million times, but the films surreal atmosphere and characters bring something special to an otherwise overdone story. I  loved Rutger Hauer in this film and the scenes between him and Manuela Martelli’s character are truly captivating. If you’re going to make a film based on an overdone story you better make it unique, and Alicia Scherson (director) has done just that.

Showtimes for Il Futuro: Tue, May 7th – 6:45pm (Kabuki)

Wed, May 8th – 9:30pm (Kabuki)

Thu, May 9th – 8:50pm (PFA – Berkeley)

Helsinki, Forever

Helsinki_forever_02If I had any knowledge or interest in Helsinki, or perhaps lived in Helsinki, I might have found this film fascinating. However, knowing nothing of the place, I found Helsinki, Forever very dull. Some of the footage was beautiful and it’s put together in a rather poetic manner, but this couldn’t save the film from the fact that it’s a historical found footage love letter to a city I know, and care, very little about. I’m sure Helsinki is a lovely place, in fact I would love to visit it, but I would label this film as a “special interest” film, as I can’t see anyone enjoying it unless they love Helsinki, or archival footage.

I wont give the film a star rating as I feel it would be unjust to rate a special interest film whose subject matter doesn’t interest me.

Showtimes for Helsinki, Forever: Sat, May 4th – 3:00 (Kabuki)

***Director, Peter von Bagh is this year’s recipient of the Mel Novikoff Award. Peter von Bagh will be attending the screening take part in an on-stage discussion following the film.***


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Categories: Reviews, San Francisco International Film Festival


  1. Filmbalaya’s Guide to SFIFF56 2013 | Filmbalaya.com - April 30, 2013

    […] Futuro – “If you’re going to make a film based on an overdone story you better make it unique, and Alicia Sc…” – […]

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